2013 ACM Awards: Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert Win Big

Sometimes working (and shaking) your butt off will get you where you want to be. Show co-host Luke Bryan found that out tonight (April 7) at the 48th Academy of Country Music Awards when he won the night's biggest honor, the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year.

"I swear to God, every time I step onstage, it is a blessing for me to play for fans," said a clearly surprised and tearful Luke. "This is the defining moment of my life and it means the world to me and I will never take it for granted."

Luke's co-host, Blake Shelton—who was also nominated—congratulated him as the show wrapped up. "You won Entertainer of the Year in your first and last year of co-hosting the ACM Awards!" he joked.

The two co-hosts were amiable from the outset and traded some good-natured barbs. "Shout out to the Sherwin-Wiliams company for spray painting Luke's jeans on tonight!" jabbed Blake. "Blake's jeans are like buying something on credit: nothing up front," shot back Luke.

Miranda Lambert went home the most awarded of all the artists, picking up her fourth consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year win as well as trophies for Song of the Year and Single of the Year for "Over You." "Having your songs and your lyrics be recognized by your peers is pretty much as good as it gets," said Miranda from the stage. She also gave a standout performance of her new single "Mama's Broken Heart."

"I've learned so much from this human being standing next to me," said Blake, who shared the Song of the Year Award for "Over You" with Miranda, his only win of the night. "I used to think I was a decent songwriter until I started hanging around her."

Other big winners included Jason Aldean, who nabbed the Male Vocalist of the Year honor for the first time as well as the Vocal Event of the Year for "The Only Way I Know" with Luke Bryan and Eric Church. Eric also got Album of the Year for Chief, so all three three of these friends went home with two trophies.

Little Big Town also picked up two awards, for Vocal Group of the Year and Video of the Year (for "Tornado"). The group also performed "Your Side of the Bed" with one of the most striking performance sets, a couple of suspended acrobats "lying" in a vertical bed.

Adorable couple Thompson Square got yet another Vocal Duo of the Year Award, so they've got a little streak going. Of course, they might soon feel some heat from hot new duo Florida Georgia Line, who were presented with the New Artist of the Year Award after a truly huge breakout year. "This time last year, we were watching this," said FGL's Tyler Hubbard.

The performance-heavy show actually ran nearly 45 minutes without ever naming a winner, and the festivities were kicked off with an all-star performance between co-hosts Blake and Luke (or "Bluke" as the Twittersphere deemed them) on Blake's "Boys 'Round Here," who were joined by Sheryl Crow, the Pistol Annies, and Brad Paisley on guitar.

Other performance highlights included Eric Church, sans hat and sunglasses, on a very stripped-down "Like Jesus Does," Carrie Underwood singing "Two Black Cadillacs" flanked by two actual Caddies in a foggy graveyard setting and The Band Perry tearing the roof off the place with a high-energy rendition of "DONE."

Hunter Hayes also got a lot of stage time, performing with Brad Paisley on "Outstanding in Our Field," then playing his new song "I Want Crazy" before duetting with Stevie Wonder on "Sir Duke." For the final song, he jumped on the drums for Stevie's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours."

Oh, and there was also that heavyweight matchup between Garth Brooks and George Strait to pay tribute to the late Dick Clark, who helped get the ACM Awards on television. Garth sang "The Dance" before being joined by George, and the two sang "The Cowboy Rides Away" together. On one stage.

Dare anyone to top that for a big country music moment.
 

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